Nativity Catholic Cluster: Nativity of our Lord and St. Johns Parishes

Donate to the new Piano

Donate to the new Piano

After a long, long search and wait we have found and purchased a NEW PIANO for our Parish!

Many of you may not be aware that the search for and timing of purchasing a new instrument has been in the works for about the last decade.  We all loved our Steinway, and, although it is a VERY special piano in its own right, it was not really an “accompanying” instrument.  I certainly loved it and LOVED playing it because it was meant for classical play—exactly what Steinways of the early part of the 20th century were designed for.  However, the wear and tear on it as an accompanying instrument finally took its toll and it is in need of rebuilding.  Rebuilding pianos is expensive; especially when rebuilding “period” ones that need special parts (just like automobiles and other antiques). The pin block is slipping (causing it to not stay in tune), keys are sticking, hammers need re-voicing, the cabinet needs refinishing—and that would restore it to the lovely, properly-toned piano that it should be!  It is meant to be a parlor piano—enjoyed in someone’s home and upon it being played tunes of Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven!  I hope that someday, it will be.


Piano size is important.  We have not, in any of our liturgical spaces, had the proper sized/make-model/toned instrument for accompanying a large assembly.  Would you use a 20 watt light bulb to light a gymnasium?  Unless folks learn about pianos (as they might other hobbies like automobiles, racing, stamp collecting…) they might not understand that not every piano is meant for every piano job. Pianos are designed for different venues and purposes.   For example, our Kawaii upright at the north site is a beautiful piano!  It plays beautifully, too—but again, not the right instrument for the space.  It does, however, sound lovely in the music room (a smaller space).


We have been on the look-out for a Yamaha grand piano for quite some time.  Yamaha makes durable, yet affordable, lifetime plus instruments that can withstand and even get better with accompaniment play as well as serve as beautiful instruments for solo work.  Yamaha, a few years back, partnered with Bosendorfer, which is one of the most elite pianos and piano companies on the market in terms of technology and innovative design adding another great element to an already superbly designed instrument.  FYI—we would never be able to afford a Bosendorfer!  J


The cost of pianos has been going up steadily for the last ten or more years.  What we were hoping to purchase 8 – 10 years ago at about $27,000-$32,000 now retails for upwards of $65,000.  Pianos are not going down in price.  A few used Yamahas have come our way as possibilities to replace our instrument, but the timing has not been right to purchase because of the renovation planning and other needs of our parish. How can we justify such a purchase now?

  • We do not use or maintain an organ—we are not planning one for our space as we have no organists serving in ministry—that would be hundreds of thousands of dollars plus maintenance
  • Our piano is our main accompanying instrument. It should stand the test of time and be a beautiful addition to our sanctuary
  • Yearly maintenance is affordable and accessible here in Rhinelander
  • We have a long-standing tradition of great music, music ministry and assembly participation at Nativity
  • The timing of Mitchell’s business’s sale is perfect and that price for this proper instrument will not come again
  • Liturgical and functional furnishings for our new space are important—we should take care to get the correct item for our needs for the purpose of supporting an assembly at worship for a variety of celebrations for many, many years to come



Just before Thanksgiving, the Lord blessed us with an unbelievable opportunity.  Mitchell Piano Works in Steven’s Point, (the only piano business north of Green Bay) is closing at the end of December.   They offered us a “once in a lifetime” price on a Yamaha C6 (7 ft.) grand.  It is a wonderful instrument—already mellowed/played/broken in—yet nearly new.  In terms of tone, that is a big plus.  It hits all the marks for our sanctuary space and community.  It is the correct size, warm yet purposeful in tone (not TOO bright but supportive for a large assembly), it has awesome key action—the hammers have a more sophisticated action than smaller grands because of the length of the strings (piano players get this J) and it happens to be the most lovely color (just a plus as any color would have been fine as long as the sound, size and price were correct—except maybe not “Liberace”-white J). 


Yamaha has a Theme:  “Buying a Piano is a Group Effort”


CAN YOU HELP?  We need to have the total to Mitchell by the delivery date which will, hopefully, be the end of February. 

Please consider a donation for our accompanying instrument.  If you’ve been wondering where you could share some monies—as we are approaching the end of this awesome project, please consider a donation to the piano.



Our piano cost:  MSRP/Retail:  $85,999

FINAL COST IS just under $40,000

  • with the business’s sale price and further church pricing along with our trade
  • This includes an artist’s bench, cover, extenders for the truck/cart that it sits on and delivery and set up to our renovated space.

To date we have raised about half of what we need



This really has been a dream come true for our parish—at a price we never would have imagined.  Wait until you see and hear this lovely instrument.


May God bless all of you through the coming New Year.  Please continue to keep our project in your prayers.  There is still much to do and many changes to enjoy!  It is a special time for us all!


If you have further questions, I would be happy to address them.  Call Holly at the Parish office.